Sanctity of Life Sunday, January 22, 2012

Backing out of a driveway in a residential neighborhood, I was stunned when a teen girl with a very round belly pulled open my passenger door. She was gasping. Her baby was nearly full term.

“Please, could you take me to…,” she started. I had already figured she would finish, “The hospital.” Instead, she continued, “the Justice Court. My friends forgot to pick me up.”

As I drove her a few blocks to the court, she told me that the father of her baby had broken her hand and her ribs. She was charging him with assault. She held up her hand, “See, it’s crooked.”

Tears of anger came to my eyes. Though I see my mission as helping others help themselves, I had felt myself harden after recent experiences. Some frequently abused women I had mentored just accepted the violence against them and their children.

“Don’t back down! He needs to know he can’t treat anyone like that, not a woman, child, not anyone! You are too valuable!” I began, but stopped. She knew anger already–in her broken bones. Instead, in Christian love, I talked about how much God loves all of us, including her and her baby. I sent her off with a prayer for safety.

Today is “Sanctity of Life Sunday.” Think on these words, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’” Jeremiah 1:4-5 [NIV]

God has outlined the futures for the teen mom and her child. Through time and experiences, these two unique people will develop, grow, and blossom.

One recent prominent billboard shows a healthy, beautiful baby, and the message proclaims, “God is Pro Life.” Amen to that.

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, check her weekly blog on]